There’s no way I could have written this article in the first half of 2020 or any time before that. If you asked me how to lose weight and still eat what you want, I would have said, you can’t do that. But today, I’d tell you, it’s so easy to do, you might not even believe me. You can eat burgers, fries, pizza, ice cream, and whatever else you want, AND lose weight – even beer and alcohol!
I’ve been a health nut for as long as I can remember. I’ve always had this obsession with sharing any kind of health and exercise information that people would be willing to sit down and listen to. Unfortunately, a lot of my friends aren’t all that interested in health and wellness, so having a website to write my thoughts out into is pretty awesome.
So, let me tell you really quickly, I was eating a low carb diet and living a very restrictive lifestyle for YEARS, and it worked…to an extent. The problem with a low carb, or low fat, or low whatever lifestyle is that you’re restricting yourself from the foods that you really WANT to eat. I was fine with it, because Sundays were my cheat days, and I got to eat ridiculous amounts of food on Sundays, like double bacon cheeseburgers and fries, extra large pizzas, double fudge strawberry milkshakes (actually, I don’t know if that’s even a thing), and tons of other food that we’d consider to be too unhealthy to eat regularly.
And here’s the thing. Even during my low carb restrictive lifestyle, my goal was to just get toned and defined…but that never really happened. I wasn’t trying to lose weight, cause I had always been within a healthy weight range. I’m 5″10 and I’ve pretty much consistently weighed somewhere between 150lbs – 155lbs. I think at my most I probably surpassed 160lbs, maybe around the holidays I guess.
So, how on earth is it, that when I finally went against the grain, and I tried an eating plan that completely goes against everything I ever believed about nutrition and getting into shape, that I’ve lost 12 pounds of body fat, in 3 months, eating whatever I wanted to eat, any day of the week? I’ve got a scale that measures body fat (I know they’re not totally accurate), and I’ve watched my body fat go down by 3% in just a few months. When your body fat percentage is going down, that’s a great indicator that you are in fact getting into shape. But I guess the best way to know is just look in the mirror and decide for yourself if you’re happy with the progress you’re making.
So, let me tell you how to lose weight and still eat what you want, cause that’s exactly what I did to lose those 12 pounds of fat, and it’s VERY simple to do. You’ll see similar information in other articles of mine, cause there’s no magic to this. The process is basic.
Eat At A Calorie Deficit
I’m going to stress this again as I have multiple times on this site. If you want to lose weight eating whatever foods you want, you NEED to be eating at a calorie deficit. You can eat pizza, burgers, ice cream, and whatever else you want to eat, but you absolutely MUST follow a specific calculation. I’m going to write that calculation out below. Follow it to a T, and you’ll notice that you can eat McDonald’s and still lose weight. My best friend is still shocked that he lost 20 pounds in a few months just by following this:
Take your weight and multiply it by 15. We’ll use my own weight as an example. Right now, I weigh 141 lbs.
What you see above means I need to eat 2,115 calories per day to STAY at 141 pounds. Those 2,115 are my MAINTENANCE CALORIES. I don’t want to lose any weight, so that’s how many calories I’m eating every day.
But YOU are here because you want to LOSE weight. So, if I wanted to LOSE weight, I’d take that 2,115 and subtract 400 from it.
2,115 – 400 = 1,715
This calculation is showing you that I need to eat 1,715 calories per day if I want to LOSE weight. When you do this calculation for yourself, make SURE to subtract 400 as I did above.
Now, what this will do, assuming you follow the rest of the information from this page, is it’ll get you losing 4 to 5 pounds of fat from your body PER MONTH. It’s not a crazy fast process like some fad diets out there that are telling you to eat at HUGE calorie deficits, because those diets aren’t sustainable. You want to be able to enjoy your life losing weight, right? Then this is the slower but surefire way to make it happen. Huge calorie deficit diets fail cause you are restricting yourself, and after a few months, people lose their minds.
One more thing I need to stress. If you consider yourself to be more than 20 pounds OVERWEIGHT, then you’re going to do the above calculation a bit differently. Rather than use your current weight as the starting point, use your TARGET weight as the starting point. So, let’s say you weigh 250lbs, and your ideal weight is 200 lbs. Then do the entire calculation above using 200lbs. If you have any questions about that, just let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to help.
Hit Your Protein Goals
Now, aside from hitting your daily calorie goals, you need to also pay attention to how much protein you’re taking in each day. This calculation is just as simple as the one above. Take your weight and multiply it by 0.8. If you’re more than 20 pounds overweight, then take your TARGET weight, and multiply it by 0.8.
So, because I weigh 141lbs, this is how I’d calculate my protein needs:
141 x 0.8 = 113
So, on top of eating my 2,115 calories per day, I need to make sure that 113 grams of protein is coming from my food each day.
Walk 10,000 Steps Daily
This is NOT a requirement, and you can read more about it here. But I truly do believe this has been a game changer in many ways. And especially if you’re someone who exercises regularly, this totally messed with my head, cause I never really believed walking would burn fat off your body in a way that was actually noticeable. I haven’t done actual cardio in so long. I mean, I guess I’d still go jogging, cause I do enjoy jogging.
But walking burns a considerable amount of calories. 10,000 steps is equivalent to 5 miles, and even your daily walking around the house, or to the car, or wherever, counts towards this goal. It you hit this number, you’re burning about 400 – 500 calories each time, but you can get an exact calculation for yourself here.
The thing about this that I think is important to stress is that, when we do crazy insane cardio, we end up ravenous and it’s so much easier to overeat. But walking is such a low key exercise that we do anyway, it doesn’t actually FEEL like we’re doing cardio, but we ARE burning a lot of calories. It takes me about an hour and a half per day to walk 10,000 steps. I break it up a few times throughout my day. Again, you don’t have to do this, but it will definitely speed up the process of fat loss while you eat what you want.
Use An App To Track Everything
I track EVERYTHING in an app called MyNetDiary. If you’re serious about knowing how to lose weight and still eat what you want, it’s a necessity in my opinion. I use it to keep track of calories and also my 10,000 daily steps. This app ALSO helps me track all my calories for the day. If you eat out at chain restaurants regularly, this should be easy. For instance, if I have a Chipotle burrito bowl with steak, guac, cheese, etc, it’s super easy to just put that into the app, and it lets you know how many calories you’ve had, and also how many you have LEFT for the day.
Tracking your calories is KEY to losing weight. You can eat McDonalds if you want, although I don’t do it often, cause I’m always hungry afterwards, and I think that’s just cause the food from there is so processed. If I want a double cheeseburger and fries, I usually just make it myself.
I should mention, I have a food scale, and that has helped me in amazing ways. If you’re serious about losing weight, combine a food scale with MyNetDiary or MyFitnessPal, and you’re going to notice amazing results. BTW, really quickly should mention, if you DO use a food scale, ALWAYS weigh your meat BEFORE it’s cooked. That’s a topic for another article, but if you weigh it afterwards, the weight changes, and you WILL overeat. Of course, when you eat out at McDonald’s or Taco Bell or any chain restaurant, the app already has that stuff calculated, so it’s easier, but that’s if you eat out all the time I guess, which I don’t.
Eat What You Want
You can eat what you want, whether that’s McDonald’s or Taco Bell or a fancy steak restaurant downtown but make sure to track your calories if your goal is to lose weight. Of course the fancy steak restaurant will take a little more effort to calculate, but you can become really good at estimating once you start to implement what’s taught in this article. Stay at a 400 calorie deficit daily, and you WILL lose weight.
One thing I didn’t mention in this article is that I do intermittent fasting, which isn’t necessary, but it DOES allow me to eat WAY more food for dinner and your body goes into fat-burning mode during the hours that you’re not eating. It’s very simple to incorporate into your life, and you can learn more about it here.
I hope this article was informative and if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I’d be happy to help! Thank you for reading!